2 Chronicles 17-20 – How are Your Relationships?

“Bad company corrupts good character.” (1 Cor. 15:33 NLT)

This is a principle we tell our teenagers when we dislike the company they’re keeping, but it’s true for any age. Wise and godly people will be affected by keeping ongoing company with those who are immoral and choose not to follow God. In relationships, the ungodly tend to lower the standards of the godly, rather than the godly raising the standards of the ungodly.

This was true of king Jehoshaphat. In 2 Chronicles chapters 17-20, Jehoshaphat was a pursuer of God, committed to…

And because of this, God did amazing things through him and for him.

But every time Jehoshaphat got involved with the kings of Israel, who were not following God, he wound up making decisions that didn’t trust or honor God. (19:2) (20:35-37)

Does this mean we should isolate ourselves from everyone who is not passionately following God? No! We are to be salt and light to those who need Christ. (Matt. 5:13-16) But any relationship that pulls us away from Christ more than draws us to Him is damaging and we should be cautious about how much time we spend in that relationship.

Think about your close, ongoing relationships. Are they relationships that draw you closer to Christ? Or are they relationships that pull you away from Christ?

2 Chronicles 1 – A Single Wish

If you had three wishes, what would you wish for? This question has fueled many a daydream for both children and adults.

Such a question is posed to King Solomon in 2 Chronicles chapter 1. But this time, Solomon is given only one wish. And it’s not a daydream. It’s a real offer from a real God.

After Solomon demonstrates tremendous loyalty and dedication to God in 2 Chronicles 1:6, God gives Solomon a blank check. Then, the space between verse 7 and verse 8 builds with uncertain anticipation as to what Solomon will choose.

Let’s be honest. When you and I are presented with the three wishes question, our inclination is to choose things that would benefit us. We might use one of the wishes to help others, but the other two are for us! This is tendency goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden.

But in 2 Chronicles chapter 1, Solomon spends his one and only wish on the good of others and the glory of God. He asks for wisdom to guide God’s people well. And because of this, God not only grants Solomon’s request for wisdom, He adds in all the personal benefits Solomon had not asked for…such as wealth and honor.

For some, this story sounds too much like a fairy tale, and so they dismiss it. But the power of the story is not in Solomon’s wish but in the condition of his heart. The wish reveals the heart, and the heart reveals the character. It’s what the Apostle Paul talks about in Philippians 2:3-5, where he says…

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

So…if you had a single wish, what would you wish for? And what would that wish say about your heart and character?

2 Samuel 3-4 – Political Correctness or Personal Character?

In an election year, the airwaves and internet are full of adds for those running for office. The candidates say the right things and promise to do the right things, hoping to convince people to vote for them.

It feels like the same thing when you read 2 Samuel chapters 3 and 4. Though not an exact parallel, David must respond to some divisive issues much like a politician. He must respond in a way that will endear him to those who oppose him without turning off those who are already loyal to him.

When one of David’s generals wrongly kills a prominent and much-loved general of the opposition, David responds in a way that wins the trust of the opposition (2 Sam. 3:31-39) yet does not directly discipline his own military leader. (2 Sam. 3:29,39)

When an opposing king is killed by the king’s own military leader, David further endears himself to this king’s people by having the murderer killed rather than rewarded. (See 2 Sam. 4)

Are David’s responses the evidence of Godly character or of a politician working angles to get everyone to like him? Because Scripture seems to vouch for David’s character, we could say it was the former. But since Scripture doesn’t shy away from recording the less-than-stellar moments of God’s people, we can’t say for sure.

What we do know is that David found solutions that looked beyond either/or answers. He took the empathetic high road and always gave God the glory. (2 Sam. 4:9) As a result, people were drawn to David and he won their loyalty.

We should remember and practice this in our difficult situations. Our desire should be kindness, wisdom, and godliness, rather than political correctness.

Age: It’s Spiritual

In the first post on age, we dealt with the fact that young and old alike struggle with issues of age. We talked about a sort of age related dementia that goes along with youth, adulthood, and old age, and we gave you some things to remember and do that will help with these dilemmas of age. (If you missed that post, click here and catch up before you read further.)

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